It's no secret the union movement thinks the Campbell administration's public-private partnerships are a bad deal for the province. For example, in November, British Columbia Federation of Labour conventioneers said those projects are "shrouded in secrecy and face gross delays, loss of service and public scrutiny, as well as huge cost overruns." This, according to a news release from the Canadian Union of Public Employees. But it seems at least one union pension plan thinks investing in such partnerships is a good deal for its members.
Speaking at an invite-only forum attended by around 80 international bankers and developers this past June, Finance Minister Carole Taylor noted British Columbia's public-private partnerships are attracting new financiers from around the world - including the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. This, according to speaking notes obtained by Public Eye via a freedom of information request.
And what projects is the plan, which governed by the Ontario government and the teachers' union in that province, financing you may wonder? Well, it seems the pension lending money for the William R. Bennett Bridge Project. That's right, the five-lane, Kelowna traffic congestion reliever that's named after British Columbia's most famous free enterprise premier. Fancy that!